It’s nearly always a beautiful day in Perth. The sunny city is maturing, with the wealth of the recent boom showing in a fresh crop of architectural wonders and cultural offerings.
The identities of Perth’s established urban villages have crystallised, and vibrant new pockets are emerging. Coastal communities host festivals on the sand and markets overlooking the sea. In the metropolitan CBD and Northbridge, laneways buzz with street art, lights and hidden pathways leading to pop-ups and exhibitions.
Every week, there’s a new secret bar or restaurant to try, a street festival to mosey through, comedians to laugh at, musicians to listen to, performing arts to watch, a revitalised precinct to visit, and a seasonal event to appeal to some or all of your senses. Luckily, the easygoing essence remains, despite this cultural and aesthetic growth. Put this down to the acres of natural bushland and pristine riverside running right through town, creating a literal breath of fresh air and a home to wildlife.
There’s a feeling of co-creation in many communities, and a drive to develop the city with a 21st century consciousness, without losing the ‘P-City’ warmth and friendliness.
It’s not just Elizabeth Quay and the city centre experiencing this revitalisation: inner-city pockets such as Mt Lawley, Leederville, Maylands, Subiaco, Mt Hawthorn, North Perth and Victoria Park are bustling hubs in their own right, their cafe and shopping strips bursting with locals.
Even the city’s long-time fans are excited about the future for this thriving, cosmopolitan hub.
The Bell Tower.
1. Take in the views of the city over the Swan River, see the beautiful botanical gardens, and pay your respects at the war memorial, all at Kings Park.
2. Kitesurf over the Indian Ocean at Scarborough Beach.
3. Have a drink at sophisticated Shadow Bar in Northbridge.
4. Pick up fresh produce at the Subiaco Farmers Markets every Saturday morning.
5. Buy a quirky gift from a William Street boutique in Northbridge.
6. Eat brunch in a hip cafe in funky inner-city Leederville.
7. Hang out at Perth Cultural Centre, and visit the Art Gallery of WA, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, and the West Australian Museum.
8. Visit the distinctive landmark of The Bell Tower, and take a peek at the bell-ringing chamber.
9. Speed up your sightseeing with a buzzing Segway tour through the city and its surrounds.
10. Feel spoilt for choice when it comes to dinner, at contemporary Brookfield Place.
For more visit scooptraveller.com.au/PerthCity.
DO AND SEE
You don’t have to leave the city to go surfing. Suits who love the water drive to the swell at Trigg Beach from the CBD in less than 30 minutes. If you’re not brave enough for the breaks, you can watch the pros in action while sipping coffee at beachside cafe. For a gentle swim, ask any local and they’ll recommend Cott (Cottesloe Beach). With its surrounding bars, cafes and restaurants, many memories have been formed on Cottesloe’s white sand, its grassy knolls also perfect for watching the sunset.
Patches of lush green sit among the skyscrapers and city concrete, with
16 major parklands within the city. Perth’s oldest, Stirling Gardens, opened as a botanical garden in 1845, and some of the original trees from that time are still standing. The breathtaking view from Kings Park, situated above the city, is a must-see priority on any visitor’s itinerary. The biggest inner-city park in the world, Kings Park showcases Western Australia’s natural landscape and bush lands, and is home to a beautiful botanical garden. Just north of Northbridge is Hyde Park. A north-of-the-river staple, it often hosts ethereal weddings, romantic picnics, and shady lunchtime naps.
It’s a good time to shop in Perth, with popular international retailers now open in the city. Hay and Murray streets, the main shopping malls in the CBD, are connected with cute arcades and underground specialty shops. Between St Georges Terrace and Hay Street, the Enex 100 mall caters to style, with specialty fashion and lifestyle stores. If you’re a luxury lover, head straight to King Street, which houses everything high end.
View of Perth city from the Old Swan Brewery.
No wonder the Swan River is iconic: the way Perth’s lights reflect off the water each evening is magnificent. Opposite the University of Western Australia, Matilda Bay is a great spot to walk, with views of the city and Kings Park. If you’re visiting the Bell Tower, follow the grassy banks by foot or bike. Parks, sailing clubs, jetties and restaurants are perched along the way.
Perth Cultural Centre is home to the Art Gallery of WA, holding contemporary and historic works representing Australia and the world. The Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts is just around the corner and runs programs in art, theatre and dance. If you’re getting to these by foot, you can spot art in laneways and on buildings, with the city’s street art evolving of late.
Science discovery centre Scitech is pretty much the coolest place in town for kids; its science-based programs make learning fun. The Aquarium of Western Australia will leave kids mesmerised by ocean life, while at Adventure World there are water slides to cool you down, and thrilling rides for the whole family. Perth Zoo offers ‘eye to eye experiences’, where kids can get up close and personal to their favourite animals. The WA Museum features programs like Tiny Discovery where kids can learn through storytelling, crafts and artifacts.
Sunrise on the Swan River (photography Pok Leh)
There are plenty of hotels and apartments in the CBD, including five-star international hotels with river views – the perfect place for a staycation
or refreshing mini-break. Northbridge has embraced the boutique hotel,
a treat for those wanting to stay in a personalised space, right in the heart
of the entertainment, eateries and contemporary bars. For ocean lovers, hotels line Perth’s sunset coast, capturing those epic WA sunsets over popular shores, particularly Scarborough Beach, Cottesloe, and Hillarys Boat Harbour. For accommodation check out scooptraveller.com.au/PerthCity.
DROP IN ON THE LOCALS
Troy De Souza, manager, Best of Western Australia
Kings Park is the jewel of Perth. Take the treetop walk, view the botanic gardens, or go on a walking tour and learn about Indigenous culture.
The Perth Mint is situated in a beautiful heritage building, and they do interactive tours every hour. It’s a great way to put yourself in touch with Western Australia’s history.
BEFORE YOU GO
Whatever the season, don’t get about without sunscreen. The world’s driest city is also one of the sunniest, with Perth having intense UV rays all year round.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT It works best when you’re central but there are trains from Perth to all major suburbs, and the bus routes will fill in most gaps.
DON'T LEAVE WITHOUT...driving down West Coast Highway. You may not be
a water baby, but Perth’s sunset over the ocean is truly incredible.